The Motley Fool Discussion Boards

Previous Page

Stocks B / Berkshire Hathaway


Subject:  Re: OT: Global Water shortage. Date:  4/16/2013  2:02 PM
Author:  DrtThrwingMonkey Number:  200965 of 236361

This is new topic for me, so "I have nothing to add" about global water shortages.

Perhaps there are others who do have something to add?

A few facts and a few of my opinions:

There is no global water shortage - there is exactly the same amount of water now as there has been for centuries, maybe a little more recently as some of the ice caps thaw.

There are local or regional water shortages, particularly in places where there are a lot more people (Israel, Arizona, Australia, etc.) or where some industry is using a lot more water (California, for instance) or in particular geographies like islands, or places where deserts have advanced (northern Africa).

Almost all the world's water is accessible to countries with large populations, but it has the major problem of having salt in it. But nowadays, you can make freshwater from seawater for about 6 kWh per ton (a cubic metre), or about $1 a ton, or put another way, about 0.1c per litre. This is still expensive for agricultural or industrial water, but it is next to nothing for drinking water. In other words, any well-organized country should be able to provide drinking water for all its citizens for next to no cost. There will be money to be made providing these services, but profits are not likely to compare well with other commodities like oil, which is worth about 600 times more, volume for volume, i.e. about 60c per litre ($100 per gallon).

Regards, DTM
Copyright 1996-2018 trademark and the "Fool" logo is a trademark of The Motley Fool, Inc. Contact Us